Red Nose Company
Red Nose Company is one of the most renowned theatre companies in Finland. Over the years they’ve co-operated with all of the biggest theatres in Finland, including the National Theatre.
about the shows
Red Nose Company’s performances are skillful, intelligent, groovy and visually stunning. In their performances the company is excited to explore the humanity, the comedy and also the poetry of the stage. Red Nose Company will entertain and make the audience laugh but at the same time the actors still manage to tackle difficult subjects with a clownlike astonishment. The company’s performances have addressed, among other things, active feminism, domestic violence, racism, European identity, political populism and hate speech.
At the heart of Red Nose Company’s live performances is a connection, a special feeling of togetherness no matter the size of the audience. The actors love to meet different kinds of audiences and take their shows to all kinds of locations. A new circumstance is always an artistic possibility!
Currently there are six shows running, both classical plays and new scripts. For adults, the repertoire consists of Don Quixote, Babylon, Trench Road and Red Line, for families Frankenstein and Emperor´s New Clothes. There are versions available in four different languages.
Red Nose Company has also expanded their repertoire to live stream and online performances which have been popular especially with school groups. In the online performances the actors can interact with about 50–100 audience members. These people can be described as the audience with front row seats. At the same time more people can watch with a little less interaction, and therefore there is really no real limit to the amount of the spectators in online performances.
The most important thing is not what we do on stage, it’s _how_ we do it. The actors improvise like jazz musicians, following the flow of the night. When the audience gets to interact with the play, powerful experiences and moments are created. Laughter opens up our hearts.
– Tuukka Vasama
ABOUT THE CLOWNS
There are four clowns and two clown duos touring internationally – Mike & Zin and Babylon & Ré.
The clown characters are built on the actors’ civilian selves. They’re made of the same ingredients than the actors’ themselves, yet the outcome is something different. Onstage the clowns use traits, special qualities that the actor bears to their advantage, and by exaggerating and playing with these real characteristics, something outstanding can be created.
In a way, I could say that my character Mike is more me than I am; as a clown, I can express my good and bad qualities shamelessly because I don’t feel the social obligation to be a certain way.
– Tuukka Vasama
Mike & Zin
Mike (Tuukka Vasama) & Zin (Timo Ruuskanen) have been together on stage since 2008, and performed together over 500 times. Their extraordinary commitment to one another means that anything can happen in their shows. The duo takes risks and still manages to bring their shows home every time. This method allows the performances to evolve, and through the years, they’ve continued to just get better and better.
Ruuskanen & Vasama are also talented multi-instrumentalists who bring strong moods into their performance through the live music they play.
Babylon & Ré
Babylon (Minna Puolanto) & Ré (Hanna Seppä) have been working together since 2018. Their collaboration started when Seppä offered to work as a dresser for Puolanto’s upcoming performance Babylon. And so it happened that their collaborator deepened from actor and dresser to one hell of a clown-duo.
In the performances Babylon’s & Ré’s characters are complete opposites. When one starts to reach for the moon, one keeps feet firmly in the ground. The clown duo constantly balances with power and which one is the one holding it. Despite their differences Babylon and Ré are dear friends and companions to each other, always in the end by each other’s side.
Puolanto and Seppä want to fulfil their professional aspirations on stage, so in their performances music and dance has a role to play.
Timo Ruuskanen / ZIN
Timo Ruuskanen holds a degree in acting from the Theatre Academy Helsinki. He’s based in Helsinki and does theatre, television and movies. He has acted both in big theatres (the Finnish National Theatre, Helsinki City Theatre, Espoo City Theatre etc.) as well as in a number of theatre groups.
He specializes in clownery, improvisation and puppetry and also teaches them. He has also written and directed (several) plays.
Tuukka Vasama / MIKE
Tuukka Vasama holds a degree in acting from Theatre Acedemy Helsinki. He specializes in clownery, music, poetry, drama and live art.
His monologue performances have been awarded in Germany (Thespis Monodrama Festival), Lithuania (Monobaltija Festival) and Finland. In 2018, he received the Artist of the Year Award from the City of Helsinki. He is a frequent guest on the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle’s radio programs. Besides the big city theatres, Tuukka Vasama has always worked with the independent theatres, with a focus on acting, directing and producing.
Minna Puolanto / BABYLON
Minna Puolanto graduated from the Theatre Academy as an actor in 2005 and as a dancer in 1995. She has worked as an actor in both big theatres as well as in small theatre companies around Finland and has also appeared in TV series, radio plays and films. Puolanto has been awarded twice at international festivals (The Pärnu Fringe Festival Award, 2013; 3rd prize at Monobaltija Festival, 2012). She also works as a playwright and director and was nominated for the Finnish Stage Actor of the Year Award in 2018 for her role in Babylon.
Hanna Seppä / RÉ
Hanna Seppä graduated as an actor from the Theatre Academy in 2004 and has worked at the Vaasa City Theatre and Kotka City Theatre. She has also played big roles in a number of theatre companies and in the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s Radio Theatre. Seppä also works as a playwright, director and drama teacher. She’s worked with, among others, prison inmates.
Red Nose Company has worked hard and been fortunate to be able to make an outstanding career in the Finnish theatre field. The company has been touring for over a decade in Finland and performed from the biggest stages to nursing homes and schools – and enjoyed every moment.
The company’s opportunities to grow in Finland have reached its limits and now they’ve started to seek opportunities also in the international performing arts and festival field. Red Nose Company’s production team has lots of experience in finding audiences tour performances in Finland. This is something the company implements and focuses on when working internationally.
Long term partnerships have always been at the core of Red Nose Company’s collaborations, and the company is committed to doing things well. This artistic working-philosophy has led the company to various fruitful partnerships that run from performance to another.